This is the remarkable painting by Caravaggio titled, “The Incredulity of St. Thomas.”
No one shows the emotion, the detail and the awe like this remarkable painter. His version of the raising of Lazarus is one of my all time favorites and this is a close second.
I’m choosing this painting this week because we are now “post-Easter.” The Gospel writers reveal several incidents which all fall into the category of post-Easter appearances–those times when Jesus appeared after his resurrection.
Thomas’ hand…. watch it enter directly into the flesh of Jesus and look at his curiosity. Doubters are welcomed by Jesus–not shamed! Jesus did not shun Thomas or ridicule him and this is our invitation to also bring our doubts to the encounters with Jesus and not hide them or go sub-subterranean with them. Jesus lets us bring all of our doubts into his presence and somehow accepts them–accepts us–and loves us despite them.
I am struck with the vulnerability of Jesus here. He’s exposed. He’s ready. He is not withdrawing. Always available. Always waiting on us. Always ready to take us–doubts and all. How he does this, I do not know but THAT he does this humbles me. What does this painting stir in you as you sit here and enter this amazing scene?
In this post-Easter season, we need to bask in what has happened this past week. It’s the soul’s D-Day. It’s the soul’s most important holiday and not just the church’s.
Pause with this painting and be invited, like Thomas to truly enter the presence–the person of Jesus.
Stephen W. Smith